What is Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) at Mount Sinai?

The terms Direct Project, Direct Exchange, and Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) used in conjunction when discussing the Mount Sinai Health System HISP (Health Information Service Provider) can be used interchangeably across the Mount Sinai Health System to describe the national encryption standards and protocols implemented for secure exchange of clinical healthcare patient information.  These standards and protocols were designed to promote the secure exchange of Protected Health Information (PHI) from provider to provider and provider to patient – ultimately to improve clinical outcomes, quality, and lower the cost of patient care.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlined specific criteria as part of Meaningful Use Stage 2 for DSM that hospitals and eligible providers must meet in order to qualify for incentive payments.  The Interoperability Group in IT at MSHS began a system selection for the HISP to serve as the platform to meet the requirements and are currently live as of July 1st 2014 with the technical framework to assist the operations in meeting the Transition of Care (ToC) and View, Download, Transmit (VDT) MU Stage 2 measures.

Who uses DSM?

The following stakeholders currently utilize Direct Secure Messaging across the healthcare industry:

  • Nursing homes
  • Pharmacies
  • Care team members
  • Laboratories
  • Patients
  • Hospitals
  • Providers
  • Home health agencies